Little Havana

Iconic Gathering Spot Versailles Restaurant Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The family run business opened its doors in 1971 by Felipe Valls Sr.

NBC Universal, Inc.

For 50 years, it has been a staple in the Little Havana community for delicious Cuban food, cafecito and conversation.

The famed Versailles Restaurant celebrates its 50th anniversary Wednesday. The location along Southwest 8th Street and 36th Avenue in Miami has been a magnet for celebrations and high-profile politicians running for office.

The family run business opened its doors in 1971 by Felipe Valls Sr. To honor the major milestone, some of the restaurant's menu items were priced back to how it was 50 years ago. Cafecito was 20 cents, medianoche sandwiches $1.10 and a palomilla steak was $3.25.

NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez is at the Little Havana staple that has been a landmark in the community for half a century.

"Thank you so much for making Versailles your home to making it what it represents for the Cuban community, the Latin community," said current owner and Valls' son, Felipe Jr. "It is something that you have created."

Valls and his daughters have continued the tradition of making the location and meeting spot in the community and an unofficial town square for Miami's Little Havana community.

"It just feels like home," said customer Mary Ann Ruiz. "It feels like you are visiting with your abuelita or tío or whoever." 

The restaurant has welcomed high-profile politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, looking to sway voters in the community.

"If you ever run for Governor or run for the Senate, it’s a great place to come because you get to see a lot of the people that support you," said current U.S. Senator and former Florida Gov. Rick Scott. "And you get a lot of advice. I’ve gotten a lot of advice getting a cortadito."

The restaurant and bakery are open from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It opens from 9 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.

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